Getting Caught
25th Hour
Review by Ross Anthony

Ed Norton plays Monty, a drug dealer in transition; unfortunately for him, that transition is just a little slower than the long arm of the law.

The 25th hour is Monty's last day as a free man. His fears, his strengths, and the bond between him and his friends from childhood help and haunt him.

It's mostly a believable story with its fair share of harsh realities to counter Monty's otherwise peaceful, introspective, likable demeanor. But as a film production, as many flaws mar the print as sparkles.

In one of the film's weakest scenes, two of Monty's friends discuss his predicament at the window of their New York Penthouse overlooking the Twin Towers ruins. This scene runs long, reads like a play, and is further burdened by an overbearing score. To be fair, I think I'd really like the score -- but only if it were separated from the film. The two do not complement each other all that well. Additionally, the opening title credits sequence is much too slow. A modern poem "reflection" is also rather awkwardly interjected.

But the film has some remarkably intense, warmly painful sequences. One is when Monty's cynical hard-truthed best friend Franco, descends to the level of patronage to discourage Monty from toying with suicide. And then later, the scene in which Monty asks Franco to "make him ugly" -- it's very very powerful. My throat tightened.

Lastly, at my particular showing, I don't know if it was a problem with the projection, but the image appeared to be ghosting to a mild blur.

In sum, uneven, with a strong Norton, incompatible score, but, of course you'll love the dog -- and the good message/reminder.

  • 25th Hour. Copyright © 2002. Rated R.
  • Starring Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox.
  • Directed by Spike Lee.
  • Screenplay by David Benioff.
  • Produced by Julia Chasman, Tobey Maguire, Jon Kilik at Touchstone Pictures/40 Acres and a Mule/Filmworks.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:22:14 PDT